Category Archives: History

Love Handles!!!

The term “Love Handles” refer to the extra flab around the belly. Health conscious people try to cut this to look slim and healthy.

There are many explanations for the use of this term.

Young unmarried people are very conscious of their figure because they think that looking slim is attractive. But after they are married, their competition ends and happy couples gorge more food leading to obesity.

The term was popularised by actress Debbie Reynolds. Although she was not fat, her mother was. His father liked her mother as such.

She said in an interview

“My mother is—well—rather plump, but my dad likes her that way. He calls the excess ‘love handles.’ As a matter of fact, he’s always saying to me, ‘The trouble with you, Debbie, is you’ve got no love handles.’”

“Daddy says a woman should have curves, which he calls, in the idiom of the Southwest, love handles. Isn’t that sweet, love handles?”

Lazy Susan

According to Wikipedia, A lazy Susan is a turntable (rotating tray) placed on a table or countertop to aid in distributing food. Lazy Susans may be made from a variety of materials but are usually glass, wood, or plastic.

An example of Lazy Susan

Simple interpretation is that the lady at home must be very lazy and didn’t like to move around serving the food going from one chair to another. So this was invented to avoid this. Eaters could rotate it to scoop out the food.

During earlier times, it was also called a Dumbwaiter. Both Dumb and Lazy parts have almost similar connotations. But where from the name Susan came? It is an english name. When this contraption was invented, the name was hardly popular. So the name origin is still debatable.

Incidentally, it is very popular in chinese eateries where it made the Dimsum eating very simple.

Spying on the leaders

It was when Russia was USSR and soviet state was pushing hard to become at par with US. A top erstwhile spy told that Russian Soviet dictator Stalin, used to spy on the visiting world leaders like Mao to know their hidden personality traits. They even used scientific methods for this. Soviets used to analyze the excreta for Potassium and Amino acid tryptophan to know the state of mind of the leaders. Tryptophan is used by animals for synthesis of proteins essential for growth. Studies indicate that it acts as an antidepressant.

For example, if they detected high levels of amino acid Tryptophan,“ he explained, “they concluded that person was calm and approachable”. On the other hand, potassium ion regulate the blood pressure. The diets rich in Potassium help reduce the high blood pressure. But a lack of potassium in poo was seen as a sign of a nervous disposition and someone with insomnia.

Revival of Govardhan Parvat: The Mountain Moved by Krishna

In our country where mythology plays a big role in the lives of its inhabitants, many sites like hills, rivers, and caves have their associations with the mythology. One such concerns the Lord Krishna and is called Govardhan Parvat (mountain).

The legend is that when the uninterrupted deluge threatened to innundate Mathura, Krishna lifted the entire mountain on his little finger to make an umbrella to protect the Mathura.

UP government has planned to revive the almost barren Govardhan parvat situated about 23 kilometres from Mathura. Government plans to plant the herbal plants on the mountain. These are:

Kadamba: It is a tropical tree. Krishna and Radha are said to have conducted their love play under the cool shade of the tree. It is used as one of the raw materials in the preparation of “itars”.

Tamala or Indian bayleaf or tezpatta: It is commonly used in Indian culinary as well as medicines particularly for alleviation of diabetes due to the presence of highly antioxidant enzymes.

Karira: Scientific name is Capparis decidua. It’s spicy fruits are used for culinary purposes like vegetable, curries, and pickles. It is also used in medicine.

Pakar : It belongs to mulberry family. Leaves have sour taste.

Pilkhan: Scientific name Ficus virens. It grows to heights of about 100 feet. It is Avenue tree. It bears “strangler figs” because they can germinate on other trees and strangle them. It is used in Thai cuisine.

Koh-I-Noor: A diamond with troubled history

Koh-I-Noor
Size: 105.602 carats (21.1204 g)
Colour: Finest white
Cut: Cushion
Discovered: Date unknown in India
The name means” Mountain of light” in Persian language. Once known as the largest diamond in the world. It is believed to have originated in Andhra together with its double called”Darya-ye-Noor” meaning “Sea of light”.
It was originally owned by Kakatiya Dynasty which installed it in a temple as the EYE of the goddess. It has had a troubled history having been stolen, confiscated or taken over as war loot by various invaders.
Presently it is a part of the Crown of Queen Elizabeth having been confiscated from its owners in 1850 by imperial powers.

Mallet Ferry Wharf 

Mallet Ferry Wharf! I visited the place. It is a ferry terminus and fish trawlers unloading port in Mumbai. You are welcomed by a stench of fishes as you approach the area. Hundreds of fish traders stand up and fish is conveyed to top from boats by ropes and mesh nets. There are mounds of sea fish of every kind. All places are full of fish. There are porters towing it away on the carts. Water drips from the baskets carrying the fish. Trucks are filled by the fish. Every boat has a flag and they are bobbing up and down in the waters. “Bombay duck” which is a fish dries on the ropes in the boats. This fish does not have bones and very delicate to handle when cooking if you are not breaking it into pieces. The hanging fish looks like buntings.

There were fisherwomen, very fat and strong. The boats which have emptied their catch were parked to one side. The fishermen on them were preparing the food: lentils, rice and fresh fish. Crows pecked at the fish filled in the basket waiting to be put into the trucks. These seemed to have become bored by eating and eating in plenty. Seaguls caught the flaoting dead fish thrown out of the boats.

On the right side is the ferry wharf from where ferries ply to Mora Bunder in Uran and Alibaug, and to Elephanta caves. Ferry journey is very convenient as it takes very less time in comparison to the road journey which entails crossing whole of Mumbai and then to mainland of Konkan. These people usually work as Stevedores in the Mumbai port. During British time, they constituted the major workforce employed for manual jobs. People wait there on the benches. There are shops selling refreshments in the waiting area. Buses from Mumbai ferry the people here. 

 

Desires unfullfilled due to religious bigotry 

Guru Nanak, the first Guru and founder of Sikh religion, had two constant companions namely Bala and Mardana. Mardana played Rabab while Guru sang. He was a Muslim. Guru preached to the world love, compassion, and communal harmony. He also enlightened the people about the falsehood spread by some religious groups both Muslims and Hindus. It was all based on solid logic and illustrated through simple examples.

Mardana playing Rabab (illustration)

The future generations of Mardana remained attached to the succeeding Gurus of Sikhs. Of them was Bhai Ghulam Mohammad Chand, who lived in Lahore Pakistan and breathed his last on 29th April 2015 after illness.

Although he died with one unfulfilled desire. It was to recite kirtan in the Golden Temple at Amritsar. His request in 2008  was declined by Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on the grounds that he was not a Sikh who was not baptized a rule that was enacted in 1947.

He has performed Kirtans in many Gurudwaras both in Pakistan and abroad. He was the sixth generation of Bhai Sadha and Bhai Madha, who sang during the lifetimes of ninth and tenth Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh.

His father Bhai Sunder Giani was one of the last rababis to perform in Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) before 1947. Navtej Kaur Purewal, deputy director, South Asia Institute, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London also sponsored Ghulam Mohammad’s historic visit to the UK in 2011 and also wrote a research paper on the History of the Rababi Tradition of Shabad Kirtan.

Born in Rajasansi village near Amritsar in 1927, Bhai Ghulam Mohammad had migrated to Pakistan.

bhai chand

Bhai Ghulam Mohammad Chand

England-based Punjabi writer Amarjit Chandan, said, “Bhai Ghulam virtually died the day he was not allowed to perform kirtan in Darbar Sahib in 2008 for not being an `Amritdhari’. They didn’t know his forefather Bhai Mardana was not one either. But he was Baba Nanak’s true and first Sikh, his lifelong companion and rababi.“

Such was the pain that he carried after the refusal to perform kirtan in the Darbar Sahib that in an interview with Purewal in 2011, he said, “Who bothered to ask whether we were Gursikh (baptized Sikhs) in those days (in the days of Gurus)? Were my ancestors Gursikhs? Did they wear the `dastaar’ (turban) and show the signs of being a Sikh? No. But that never stopped them from having a passion for music and their work… Those people (the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee that manage gurdwaras in Punjab) have a short vision…“

You can listen to his shabad kirtan from the youtube links below

Bhini Rainarie

 Aawal Alla Noor Upaye